Folks I Reference
Please check back regularly. My intent is to provide resources to help us think well and act appropriately on issues related to history, government and economics. For a printable list of Resources, click HERE.
The Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) - When I talk about Principle Approach ® teaching, I'm referring to America's historic method of biblical reasoning which makes the truths of God's Word the basis of every subject in the school curriculum. It's how our founders learned and it's powerful. This method of teaching and learning relies on digging in to primary resources, taking ownership of (in my case) the principles of history, government and economics and becoming a "living textbook," ready to share what I've come to cherish with others! FACE has so many wonderful resources, including a foundational study I recommend called The Bible and the Constitution.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language - Words matter! If we want to know what the founders really meant, we need to understand how they defined words. Education, government, sin. A word study in this incredible resource is a Bible study as well. This is an heirloom for your family and I highly recommend owning a hard copy. A digital version can be found HERE.
Answers in Genesis - a biblically grounded source for many ancient history (and science) questions
The Classicist - the podcast of Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution. Well-reasoned, historically brilliant, wise commentary on current events.
Just Thinking - a podcast with Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker - These guys are exemplars of loving the Lord with all their minds, as well as hearts, souls and strength. They take on a range of doctrinal issues but, as of late, have been at the forefront of providing biblical wisdom related to major issues confronting the church: justice, biblical anthropology vs. "race," the Black Lives Matter movement, critical race theory and liberation theology. Get started with two great video interviews with these two HERE or HERE.
The Woodson Center's 1776 Unites Campaign is "an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems.
We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding."
Plymouth Rock Foundation-founded to tell the true story of the founding of Plymouth and preserve it intact for future generations. You'll find great educational resources here, a link to their blog articles, and more.
Wallbuilders has good, well-documented research on a range of issues related to American History and Government, especially as they touch current events. . . including this article on Slavery and the Founding Fathers. Wallbuilders is "dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined."
Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel are on the front lines, defending everyday folks, churches, and families....standing in the gap on issues of faith, family and religious freedom in the courts. Follow both of them on social media to stay abreast of judicial developments.
Florida Family Policy Council - I'm a friend, fan, and former employee : ) John Stemberger and his team work specifically in Florida to protect and defend life, marriage, family and liberty. They provide legislative updates, educate Floridians about current events, lobby the state legislature on your behalf and advocate at the local level as well.
Foundation for Economic Education - great articles and video resources developed to "inspire, educate, and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society. These principles include: individual liberty, free-market economics, entrepreneurship, private property, high moral character, and limited government."
The White House Conference on American History - This was an historic gathering recorded gathering on Constitution Day 2020 (September 17th). Click on the title to view the presentations and discussion from that day regarding the importance and impact of teaching real American History; it's well worth your time. The President also addressed the group (watchable HERE) and I highly recommend that you download, save and read The 1776 Report which was the work presentd by the President's Advisory 1776 Commission. It has since been entirely shut down.
Recommended Reading (check back....I'm adding more all the time)
America's Providential History by Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell - a great overview of American history and launching point for more in-depth study. Read portions aloud with your young people, refer to the sources in the bibliography to dig deeper, be encouraged as you see the providence of God!
The Bible and the Constitution of the United States by Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater- A "primer of American liberty," this simple study is a great place to start in your family or with a small group to understand the foundations of American liberty.
Restoring America's Biblical Foundations- This video-based study from Pilgrim Institute is a perfect introduction to the "big ideas" upon which America was founded. Those ideas brought incredible blessing, liberty and prosperity because they were aligned with the Christian idea of man and government. To the degree that we stray from those founding principles, we can expect the "blessings of liberty" to fail as well. This 11- lesson study "affirms the truth about the role of the Word of God in governing our lives and our nation."
The Legacy of Liberty and Property by Daniel J. Ford - We're all familiar with the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence but did you know ( I didn't) that the phrase actually found repeatedly in our founding-era documents is "life, liberty and property?" There's a reason for that. This very helpful book by an expert in original, founding-era documents "documents the sweeping story of freedom as it was best expressed in the principles of Reformed Christianity in Europe and then planted in the New World by English colonists." According to the author, "The key to the success of America's founding fathers was their devout understanding of the timeless principles of property stewardship under God. The establishment of an American republic was predicated on faithful Americans defending their inheritance of liberty and property at the hazard of their lives." A Study Guide is also available for this book so that it can be worked through with a group!
Never Before in History by Gary Amos and Richard Gardiner - A great resource and one that's required for my American History class. It's a scholarly defense of what has been lost in recent years: that "the Christian roots of our nation are historically evident, logically compelling, and easily researchable"....that "Christianity underlies the principles and ideals that most Americans, Christian or not, continue to hold dear."
Alfred the Great and our Common Law - important research presented by Rev. Dr. F.N. Lee on Alfred the Great of England and his revival of both the form and legal foundation of the Hebrew Republic in establishing the law code of England around 900 AD. In a miraculous and providential turn of events, the young man who was never supposed to be king defeated the invading Vikings and united the English kingdoms as one for the first time, necessitating the establishment of a uniform code of law for all. What King Alfred established is remarkable! Uniquely prepared for this task, he turned to the standard and example of the ancient Hebrew Republic found in Exodus and Deuteronomy, with representation, local self-government and biblical law becoming the foundation of English Common Law.
Odyssey of Faith: The Colony of Virginia, Jamestown and You by Chris Evans - this is an engaging and thorough children's book about the providential founding of Virginia. You'll meet all the famous folks from Captain John Smith to Pocahontas, but also little-known heroes like Reverend Robert Hunt and Richard Hakluyt. Mrs. Evans has woven digestible pieces of original source documents into the book, perfectly appropriate (and important) for little learners. It's available with teacher's guide and coloring book and the best part is that you'll learn things you never knew right along with your kids!
"First Landing" - this live action film produced by CBN tells the story of the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in the New World at Jamestown by following the story of the expedition's chaplain, Reverend Robert Hunt. These were REAL people and, while Reverend Hunt is written about in original source documents, sometimes it just helps us grasp the very real sacrifices he made to bring the gospel to "those that yet lived in darkness" by seeing it dramatized.
Of Plymouth Plantation - an original source document. Read for yourself William Bradford's account of the many providences of God in calling out a remnant in England, preserving and preparing them in Holland and planting them as "stepping stones for the gospel" in New England. Their experiences are incredible and their trust in God inspiring. There are many printings of the document; I've just linked to one.
Plymouth in the Words of Her Founders-This "Visitors Guide to America's Hometown" is so much more! Original source documents are directly related to the many historic sites and monuments in Plymouth. This wonderful little book is helpful whether you plan to visit Plymouth or not. It's not only a rich resource on the Pilgrim motives and story, but provides an understanding of the principles required for restoration of our nation.
The Journal of Major George Washington - an original source document that reveals God's protection and preparation of young George Washington. Written as a report to the Virginia royal governor upon his return from a diplomatic mission, Washington's adventures on this 900 mile journey in the dead of winter is a page-turner! Demand for his report grew and it became an unlikely "best-seller" in the colonies, providentially beginning to establish Washington as a household name two decades before any thought of independence arose. The opening link takes you to a digitized online version. You can also purchase a print edition HERE.
The Bulletproof George Washington by David Barton - this wonderful little book is thoroughly sourced with a great bibliography for further study. It tells the story of Washington's participation in the French & Indian War and the incredible instances of God's providential care...factual stories which used to be included in every history text and events to which Washington himself credited "the all powerful dispensations of Providence."
"We Fight To Be Free" - a WONDERFUL 47 minute action-adventure film produced by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. This is the film you used to see in their Welcome Center and does a great job of "humanizing" George Washington. I'm a big fan of the battle scene in the Monongahela Forest where they do great justice to the true story of Washington's providential protection in that moment...in which, while every other mounted officer was killed or wounded he had "two horses shot from under him and four bullets thorough his coat." Strangely and sadly it's no longer available at Mount Vernon's gift shop, so purchase through the linked title above. You can view a trailer HERE.
Sacred Fire by Peter Lillback and Jerry Newcombe - a thoroughly researched and documented review of the life and faith of George Washington. According to goodreads.com "What sets George Washington's Sacred Fire apart from all previous works on this man for the ages, is the exhaustive fifteen years of Dr. Peter Lillback's research, revealing a unique icon driven by the highest of ideals. Only do George Washington's own writings, journals, letters, manuscripts, and those of his closest family and confidants reveal the truth of this awe-inspiring role model for all generations." Dr. Lillback currently serves as president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Christian Philosophy of Patrick Henry by James M. Wells - If we want to understand the power behind Patrick Henry, the underpinning of his convictions and the strength of his leadership during the years leading up to and achieving American independence, we must understand his roots. A product of the Great Awakening and a disciple of the great Presbyterian pastor Samuel Davies, Henry was a student of God's Word and applied it to all of life - including civil government. His trust in God made him bold in the truth and worthy of emulation today! Another wonderful Patrick Henry resource is this biography: Give Me Liberty: The Uncompromising Statesmanship of Patrick Henry by David Vaughan.
Political Correctness: A Deceptive & Dangerous Worldview by Dan Smithwick of Nehemiah Institute - "Here is the true story of how and why America’s public education system was hijacked nearly 100 years ago by European Marxists to advance their quest for worldwide Socialism. The phrase Political Correctness was adopted to deceive the public from the true agenda. It is truly a must-read for every Christian, especially for pastors and parents of school-age children."
A Collection of Quotable Quotes
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” Abraham Kuyper, Dutch Theologian and Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1901-1905)
"The study of history is the most fitting nourishment to promote the growth and strength of the expanding intellect of youth. Time is precious, and better will be our regret, should the days of our youth have been spent without enriching our minds with something of the knowledge of God and of the human race, which is hoarded in the lap of history. But having acquired this treasure. . . we shall feel amply rewarded for our labor as we discern the hand of our Heavenly Father and recognize with grateful hearts, the wisdom and goodness of the plan He has prescribed for the advancement of mankind towards civilization and perfection.
Thus the study of history, while enriching us with an inestimable knowledge of past generations, is also leading us to a better acquaintance with God. Clearly are we taught that He extends His protecting hand over all his children, and that all are called into being to fulfill some wise purpose. You who think that chance has brought forth all that exists, and that chance decides the fate of nations and of individuals, read history with becoming attention, and you will soon acknowledge your error, and joyfully testify to the great truth, that an intelligent, All-Wise and benevolent Being, is the Creator and Ruler of the world.”
Excerpt from a widely-used history textbook from 1848
G.G. Hebbe, Universal History, Vol. I New York: Dewitt & Davenport, 1848 pp. 9,10,562
"Years ago I had the opportunity to visit a Russian school that was participating in a British-Russian exchange program. I observed that the Soviet system of education did an excellent job of teaching science, mathematics, language and literature. Indeed if these were the only subjects taught, the pupils seemed to be receiving the best, most straight-forward, and most traditional form of education. But, of course, the Soviet system did not teach only those subjects. It taught many others tainted by communist indoctrination, deliberate falsehoods, and ruthless attacks on the West. It also intentionally refrained from teaching students about the concept of freedom and about freedom's spiritual and historical roots.....now we face another momentous period in history (but) there seems to be less serious discussion about the fundamentals of liberty and morality. Ordinary citizens still gather to discuss important questions, but they are less well informed, less able to support their arguments. One reason is that they aren't being taught about liberty and morality in school....Without law, without the institutions of civil society, without religion, without the values that promote rather than discourage self-restraint, that darker side (of human nature) will prevail. Half the countries of the world claim to be democratic, but being democratic is not enough, for a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law."
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher